When older and middle-aged citizens provide practical help and care to their adult children, it depends, among other things, on lifestyle and socio-economic factors. Project leader in MATURE Anu Siren and project participant Freya Casier, both from VIVE, have studied these correlations in the article “Socio-economic and lifestyle determinants of giving practical support to adult children in the era of changing late life”, which has just been published in the academic journal Ageing and Society. The study is part of the first theme in MATURE, which deals with the social values of the informal help older adults give their children.
Using data from The Danish Longitudinal Study of Ageing, Anu and Freya have looked at how much help and support older adults in Denmark give their adult children and how socio-economic and lifestyle factors are related to the likelihood that they will provide this support.
The study addresses, among other things, the typical idea that modern active agers mainly prioritize their own interests and thus spend less time on children and grandchildren. But the results indicate that this is a myth. An active lifestyle does not reduce support to the family, and in fact, active older adults increasingly help their adult children. On the other hand, external factors such as full-time work and bustle can contribute to the fact that especially the 52-62 year-old spend less time on intergenerational assistance. So even though the overall support is increasing, this indicates that it might decrease in the coming years, when more people stay longer in the labor market.
Also read what the magazine Social Forskning wrote about the study and its results last year.